I think humans have developed this extraordinary ability to ignore the minuscule. We go about our everyday lives without paying any attention to the little joys all around us.
Thoreau, the Transcendentalist philosopher we are studying in English class, spent a great length of time at Walden Pond. He took up residence in a ramshackle house which he refused to upkeep and lived the most simple of lives out in the wilderness. Though I do not believe myself capable of his feat (I would grow lonely within a week), I admire his efforts to console nature for advice.
The other day, I was laying in a hammock when I spotted so many tiny insects in the soil around me. Within a two-foot radius, I saw green bugs crawling up blades of grass, ladybugs munching on leaves, and a huge number of ants scurrying over the dirt. It was beautiful. I guess I had never before considered how much life there was in my back garden.
They are always here – the little sources of beauty – whether they come from nature or another. We are just so used to turning a blind eye and a deaf ear. We have let ourselves become distracted by materialism, work, or responsibility so that we overlook one of the best parts of life: the details. I want to open my eyes and ears again and appreciate every last grain of sand, a speck of dust, snowflake, and ladybug.
Albert Camus, a philosopher, once said “accepting the absurdity of everything around us is one step, a necessary experience: it should not become a dead end. It arouses a revolt that can become fruitful.” Camus is stating that there is meaninglessness in life, but we must accept that fact, and despite its meaninglessness we must not become depressed. The only real answer to the newfound meaninglessness is acceptance, and with the acceptance of lack of meaning one cannot become depressed or stressed. Every situation no matter how difficult or troublesome it may seem, becomes simple. All that is necessary is to simply live, it is not a necessary reaction to feel that the task is useless or difficult, because everything is useless regardless. Camus talks about the “Myth of Sisyphus,” a greek myth in which a king is condemned to roll a rock up a hill for eternity. Every time he pushes the boulder all the way up the hill it rolls down again, forcing Sisyphus to start over once again. Camus stated that if Sisyphus simply accepted his menial task as absurd and fatuous that the task would no longer have ay level of difficulty, all that is left for Sisyphus to do is to push the rock and live his life.
Recently, I started watching Loki, the Marvel Miniseries. Of these four miniseries that have come out, Loki is by far my favorite. Although all of these shows deal with very tangible real-world problems such as succession, loss of a loved one, inclusion, and facing failure. However, Loki easily has been the one that made me think the hardest a show has made me think in a while. Basically, without spoiling it, Loki gets arrested by a bureaucratic organization called the TVA(Time Variance Authority) that deals with variants which are basically just people that mess up the timeline.
The TVA and their employees all blindly follow the time keepers as they believe they are the highest power in the world as they protect the timeline and created everyone in the TVA. However, Loki raises the question “but then who created the Time Keepers?” and his agent responded with something along the lines of “if you keep thinking about the origin of everything you’ll go insane”. The thing is, even in our world, that statement is equally true.
I mean if we just take the two most popular theories, that there was some sort of singular being or legion of beings created the universe OR that some random explosion came out of literally nothing, catalyzing the creation of the universe. Even though I’m more of a science kinda guy than a believer of deities, both theories are completely unbelievable. First of all, what kind of sentient being has even half the mental capability to create an entire universe that’s so big that human’s just deem it to be ‘infinite’. IF that is true than whose theory is true? There are thousands upon thousands of different theories on who or what created us and who knows which one could even scratch the surface. And even if there was such a being then something would have to have created that being too, one even smarter and even more capable of creating such a complex existence.
Then there’s the theory that some explosion just happened out of nowhere, and even though that’s the one that I prefer to believe, that one is also a whole lotta B.S. I mean there is literally no way that something can come out of nothing it’s impossible. Something had to have been there to catalyze the reaction but then what was that something? I mean at this point, it’s just as possible to think that we live in some simulation or that we’re just stuck in a never ending time loop of our universe blowing up to create itself and then blowing up to destroy itself.
As humans, we are prone to question everything, to have the answers for everything. But the origin of everything is an impossible question to answer, and that’s why we have so many theories. We seek refuge from our own ignorance with whatever answer we can come up with, and the longer we stay in the dark, the more convoluted the discussion becomes.
Philosophy seems distant from young children, but early exposure to philosophy and philosophical thinking can benefit children’s future development.
A lot of times, kids can come up with questions that are hard to answer, like “What is space?” “What is right and wrong?”.
Obviously, we can’t explain Einstein’s theory of time relativity to them when they ask what is the meaning of time. These questions are mostly either involving too many different concepts, or there is simply no absolutely right answer. This is when philosophical thinking comes into play, children can learn and develop their own answers.
By learning various concepts, children can improve in academic learning and form a more organized understanding of the world.
Some people may argue that it is too early for children to start “thinking about thinking” or it could be overwhelming. And yes, it is a possibility. Philosophy for children doesn’t need to include obscure terminology or deep philosophical history. Basic themes like Logicism and elementary ethics are enough and comprehensible for elementary or middle school students.
French students are required to learn philosophy in the last year of secondary school. Educational systems around the world should consider adding philosophy to the curriculum.